Chaplains and Staff
Diana Brown is the Assistant Director for Interreligious Engagement in Campus Ministry. In this role, she works with our program coordinators and directors on cross-chaplaincy management, interreligious programs, and outreach to religiously unaffiliated students. She also helps oversee the “Press Pause” series and is a residential minister on campus. When she joined Campus Ministry in 2017, she worked for Muslim, Jewish, and Dharmic Life as the Interreligious Coordinator. Originally from Utah, Diana earned a BA and MA in Sociology from Brigham Young University and is currently working on an MPS in Public Relations & Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. Diana loves music, road trips, farmer’s markets, biking, and experimental baking. She is happy to connect with students over both mundane and serious topics, such as navigating faith and its confusing intersections with family, religious culture, social issues, and philosophy.
Joanna “Jo” Cecilio is the Catholic Chaplain for Faith Formation. In this role, she serves as support for the Catholic Faith Communities (CFCs). Jo comes to Georgetown from Los Angeles, California where she was born and raised. She earned a BA in Social Work and Spanish from the University of Portland. Jo has traveled frequently over the years including living in Nicaragua and Spain and several trips to Thailand and the Philippines. After her time in Portland, she returned home to LA and earned an MA in Theology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and most recently, served as Rector of Cavanaugh Hall at the University of Notre Dame. Her heart and passion lie in her efforts to engage with those at the margins. It is at the margins where we truly encounter Christ. In her free time, Jo loves to be at the beach surfing or swimming. She has an affinity for 90s music and all things Disney. Jo also serves as a residential minister in Copley Hall.
John Crowley-Buck is Special Assistant to the Vice President for Mission & Ministry. In this role, he supports the work of the Vice President in advancing the Catholic identity, Ignatian heritage, and Jesuit mission of Georgetown University. John holds a PhD in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago, a MA in Theological Ethics from Boston College, and a BA in Theology and English from Boston College. He is also an adjunct instructor in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies. John is committed to fostering safe, critical spaces for students, faculty, and staff to engage with Georgetown’s Catholic and Jesuit heritage, and discovering new ways of understanding themselves as participating in both the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Outside of work, he is an avid cook, loves to swim and sail, and is always looking for the next good read.
Lisa Directo Davis is the Program Director for the John Main Center for Meditation and Inter-religious Dialogue. She oversees the Center’s meditation sessions, ecumenical and inter-religious offerings, and leadership formation for the diverse student team. In this role, Lisa seeks to foster a deeper integration of contemplative practices with compassionate action. She has loved serving in university and parish ministry in the States as well as overseas with the British Jesuits to launch the London Jesuit Volunteers and with non-profits in Sri Lanka and Cyprus, such as Emerge and Caritas. Lisa always aspires to cultivate welcoming spaces where students, faculty, and staff can explore in community or individually, their deepest heart questions about finding a spiritual home within, without, and across faith traditions, navigating life transitions, grief, and purpose. Lisa pursued interdisciplinary studies in Social Behavior and Ecology at U.C. Irvine, holds an M.Div. from Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary with the Benedictines in Minnesota, and earned a certificate for spiritual direction with the RSCJ’s at the Center for Christian Spirituality, University of San Diego. She is certified to teach Ashtanga-based vinyasa yoga. Beyond the Hilltop, Lisa loves time with family, Filipino sweets and siopao, afternoon tea, watching foreign films, and befriending local artisans.
Rabbi Rachel Gartner is the Senior Advisor for Spiritual Care at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies. Rabbi Gartner enjoys working closely and collaboratively to create multi-faith programs she finds most authentic and impactful – ones that engage honestly, deeply, courageously, and empathetically across real differences. Rabbi Gartner also teaches courses in Judaism, offers one-on-one supportive rabbinic counseling, and leads religious services throughout the year. Rabbi Gartner loves connecting with students about anything at all on their minds. To see Rabbi really energized, ask her about some of her favorite things: Hassidut, soulful davening, prison education, and her work with GU’s In Your Shoes program, or navigating the intersections of multiple social identities. Oh, and her love of coffee and her kid rivals that of Lorelai Gilmore!
Rev. Ebony Grisom (she/her) is the Interim Director of Protestant Christian Ministry and serves as chaplain to Protestant Students across Georgetown University. She seeks to deepen ecumenical and interreligious understanding and collaboration, and accompanies students of all religious and non-religious identities in our community. Rev. Grisom earned degrees from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Providence College, and Duke Divinity School. She brings a wealth of experience to the Hilltop having worked in high school to graduate school admissions offices, pastoral leadership, and faith-based advocacy. Since her arrival at Georgetown University in 2019, Rev. Grisom has served the Main and Law Center campuses and co-chairs the MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring! Although “Rev. G” (as she’s known on campus) has her feet planted in the DMV, she remains a proud New York City native who keeps a MetroCard at the ready in case there’s a need to traverse the City that never sleeps. You can find her in her Main Campus or Law Center office talking with students and colleagues about all things sacred and secular including traveling, crafting, advocacy, faith formation, race, gender, theology (and their intercessions), history, Blue Devils, music, sports, and her favorite Hoya of all time, Patrick Ewing.
Michael Haycock is the Ecumenical Life Coordinator, assisting the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian chaplaincies with planning, preparing for, and carrying out worship and fellowshipping opportunities for students. Michael has a BA in Political Science from Yale University and an MA in American Religious History from Claremont Graduate University. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Michael spent several years working in federal government relations. Outside of work, Michael hosts a speculative fiction book club, runs and participates in tabletop roleplaying games, and tries to keep abreast of religious scholarship. He’s always happy to converse about Star Trek, Ursula K. Le Guin, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, vegetarian recipes, religious history, and gender and religion.
Rev. Jerry Hayes, S.J., Director of Ignatian Programs, entered the Society of Jesus in 1994 and was missioned to Georgetown University in 2016. After earning his B.A. in philosophy at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington Fr Hayes went on to teach theology and serve as an assistant campus minister at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. He continued his theological studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, receiving his M.Div. in 2007 and was ordained a Catholic priest that same year. Upon ordination, he returned to Loyola High School in Los Angeles to serve as the Director of Campus Ministry. Today, Fr. Hayes provides spiritual direction to the Georgetown community and leads retreats that engage participants in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Imam Yahya Hendi is the Director for Muslim Life. He has been at Georgetown for 22 years and was the first Muslim chaplain to be hired full-time by an American university. Imam Hendi is a Public Policy Conflict Resolution Fellow at the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law and the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office. Imam Hendi is the founder and the president of Clergy Beyond Borders. He also serves as a member of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America. Imam has served as an adjunct faculty member for Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Science and Osher’s Lifelong Learning Institute of John Hopkins University, Fordham University, and Hartford Seminary. Imam Hendi also taught the course Inter-religious Encounters at Georgetown University. He is passionate about environmental responsibility, racial justice, eliminating poverty, fighting against the growing sense of militarism, and empowering Muslims to reform the way they practice and understand Islam. When Imam Hendi is not talking about these topics with students, you’ll find him in the kitchen cooking Maqloobah or his other favorite dishes, grilled chicken, rice, and hummus.
Aaron Johnson is the Managing Director for Campus Ministry. In this role, he provides strategic leadership to the department, particularly in advancing interreligious understanding and collaboration, and oversees department operations. Aaron holds an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School focused on early Christianity, an MBA from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, and a BA in biblical studies from Azusa Pacific University. Aaron is an attender of Friends Meeting of Washington and is pursuing a certificate in Quaker studies from Earlham School of Religion. He is also the principal first violinist of a small chamber orchestra on Capitol Hill and is always game for casual string ensemble opportunities. With professional backgrounds in both business and religious contexts, Aaron is passionate about helping communities, organizations, and individuals explore and share their unique gifts with a complex and changing world.
Dr. Ennio Mastroianni is Campus Minister for Engaged Couples. In this role, he serves as the consultant to engaged couples who want to marry at Georgetown University and to couples who are members of the Georgetown University Community that want to marry in their home church. He retired from full-time ministry in 2018 after 43 years of pastoral service in Catholic institutions, 18 of which were as a Campus Minister in Georgetown’s Campus Ministry. Currently, he works 10 hours per week ministering to engaged couples. He holds a Ph.D. from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA in Systematics Theology. He has spent his adult years empowering lay people to live an explicit Christian spirituality.
Tony Mazurkiewicz is Chaplain for Athletics. In this role, he works with coaches and athletic staff to help animate Georgetown’s Ignatian heritage and Jesuit mission and supports student-athletes in the areas of meaning, belonging, and purpose. Originally from Chicago, he earned a B.A. in History from Yale University and an M.Div. from the Washington Theological Union. Tony has over 20 years of experience in education and pastoral ministry, including Spiritual Exercises and spiritual direction. He enjoys meditation, biking, cooking, and accompanying students in conversations about discernment, social justice, life transitions vocation, and all things spiritual. Tony also enjoys his ministry as a Resident Minister on 36th Street with his family.
Sister Celeste Mokrzycki, the chaplain for the School of Nursing and the School of Health is a Sister of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia. In New Jersey and Philadelphia, Sister Celeste ministered in various parishes as a pastoral associate for liturgy, family life, bereavement, spirituality, RCIA and young adults. She served on the Newark Diocesan Liturgy Board, the Saint Elizabeth Spirituality Board and the Fig Orchard, an interfaith educational organization and holds degrees in pastoral counseling, art, and a certification in spiritual accompaniment. As vocation director for her congregation, Sister Celeste loved accompanying young adults who were seeking a life of deeper meaning, a sense of belonging, or greater happiness. At Georgetown, she hopes to do the same by offering herself to anyone, staff, or student, who desires to encounter God in the events of their lives, needs a listening ear, or just wants a lighthearted moment. As an artist who creates paintings reflecting her inner self, she believes art can bring us into a deeper relationship with ourselves, others, and God whether we consider ourselves artists or not. Her hope is to offer creative opportunities to explore the relationship between spirituality and art, release any stress or anxiety or just have fun creating!
Fr. David Pratt is the Director for the Orthodox Christian chaplaincy and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Endowed Orthodox Chaplain at Georgetown University endowed by the Michael Psaros Family. He is an archpriest in the Russian Orthodox Church. He has held the position of associate professor of philosophy at St. Martin’s University in Washington for the past ten years, and the position of sessional professor of pastoral practice at New York Theological Seminary for the past five. Fr. Pratt previously served 23 years as a U.S. military chaplain and ethicist. He holds a Ph.D. in comparative ethics from the University of Louvain, an S.T.L. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and an M.Div. from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Fr. Pratt also serves as a residential minister in Reynolds Hall.
Ven. Yishan Qian serves as Buddhist Spiritual Advisor. She is a fully ordained nun (bhikkhuni) in the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Ven. Yishan was ordained into the Linji School of Ch’an Buddhism in 2008 and received full ordination from the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order in 2011. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Philosophy from Wuhan University and a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from Hangzhou Buddhist Academy. Ven. Yishan has completed an M.Div. in Buddhist Chaplaincy from the University of the West in Southern California and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Buddhist Ministry.
Kelly Rankin is the Communications and Outreach Manager for Campus Ministry. Kelly is responsible for the communications and outreach efforts for the department including managing multiple communications platforms (web, social media, newsletters) as well as the creation of digital and print materials. Her outreach work includes organizing chaplains and staff for participation in campus events such as NSO (New Student Orientation) as well as Campus Ministry’s weekly signature event, Chaplains’ Tea. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where she studied art and philosophy at the University of Toronto and is currently working on an MPS in Design Management & Communications from Georgetown University. Kelly is happy to answer questions about your communications project but is most excited to talk about art, philosophy, and her favorite food group, ice cream. Just don’t ask her about her dog, Duke. Unless you have some time to spare.
Owen Ruggiero is the Assistant Director of Liturgy and Music. In this role, he coordinates worship functions for Catholic Ministry, oversees liturgical ministries, cares for Georgetown’s chapels, and guides the Contemporary Choir at 8:00 pm Sunday Mass in Dahlgren Chapel. Owen is proud to be Jesuit educated, holding a BA in Anthropology and a MA in Digital Humanities from Loyola University Chicago. Throughout his time at Loyola, Owen worked with Campus Ministry’s retreat program and served as a liturgical musician at Madonna della Strada Chapel and around the Archdiocese of Chicago. Before coming to Georgetown, Owen worked with the Theology of Healing Earth in Action Institute to engage young people at the intersection of faith, ethics, and environmental sustainability. Owen is originally from Connecticut and travels as much as he can, especially around New England and to our National Parks. In his free time, Owen enjoys hiking, exploring museums, New York Mets baseball, and musical theater.
Nicole Sandonato is the Director of the ESCAPE Retreat Program. Originally from the Boston area, Nicole earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Psychology & Human Development and Communication from Boston College. She then became a Jesuit Volunteer and served in St. Louis, Missouri. Nicole earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College and worked for four years as a Behavioral Health Clinician in a Community Health Center. Nicole enjoys connecting around the following topics: building community, 90s music (particularly boy bands), antiracism, the Smithsonian Pandas, and the importance of authenticity. Nicole loves to chat about everything and is a great listener!
Rabbi Daniel Schaefer is the Interim Director for Jewish Life. In this role, he oversees the Jewish Life program and supervises the Jewish Life staff team to foster a welcoming, dynamic, and supportive Jewish community at Georgetown. Rabbi Schaefer is excited to build relationships with students and connect around issues of ethics, social justice, and mental and emotional wellness. He is passionate about building pluralistic Jewish communities, making Torah accessible to everyone, and engaging in interfaith dialogue. He offers one-on-one supportive rabbinic counseling and leads Shabbat and holiday services throughout the year. Originally from Connecticut, Rabbi Schaefer graduated with a BA in History from Stanford University and wrote his honors thesis on early 20th-century American Judaism. He earned his MA in Jewish Studies and received ordination from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Before becoming a rabbi, he worked as an entrepreneur and ghostwriter, guided students at a therapeutic wilderness program, and served in AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. He has studied at Mechon Hadar, the Hartman Institute, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Hebrew Union College. In his free time, he loves writing, basketball, and hiking in the woods with his dog Ruby.
Rev. Gregory Schenden, S.J., Director of Campus Ministry, guides the chaplains and staff of the multi-faith Office of Campus Ministry in service of its mission as a vital resource to all students and a leading partner in the work of intellectual, social, and spiritual formation across the university. A graduate of John Carroll University, Fr. Schenden entered the Society of Jesus in 1997. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2008 and professed his Final Vows in 2016 at Georgetown’s Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Fr. Schenden earned his M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and his M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. When not tending to his ministerial responsibilities at Georgetown, Fr. Schenden can be found tending to his own spiritual formation by admiring Mark Rothko’s works at the National Gallery, taking in live music at such DC venues as the 9:30 Club and The Black Cat, or striving to make poetic connections between Gerard Manley Hopkins and Kendrick Lamar.
Dr. Vrajvihari Sharan (he/him) serves as the Director for Dharmic Life and Hindu Spiritual Advisor for Campus Ministry. In this role, he works to facilitate experiences in and deepen knowledge about the Śaiva, Sākta, Vaiṣṇava, Smārta, and Sanātana/Hindu Dharmas, and co-ordinate the same for the Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh Dharmas. After joining an ancient forest monk tradition initially as a Brahmachari in 2003, Dr. Sharan pursued studies at the University of Delhi and then the University of Oxford before gaining his Ph.D. in Sanskrit Philology at the University of Edinburgh. He then joined Georgetown University as the first Āchārya (Hindu ritual & philosophy specialist) to serve at a Catholic institution. From indigenous and folk music, dance, languages, and diasporas to Āyurveda and international cuisine, Prakṛti and quantum theory, Meditation, Yoga, and care for the body-mind-intellect, Vedānta and thinking beyond the rote norms of society, Dr. Sharan enjoys learning about the connections of the new with the timeless. As spirituality is the pre-religious heritage of all peoples of mother Earth, Dr. Sharan desires to connect anyone who has an interest in the spiritualities of the East with the resources to find out and experience more.
Michelle Siemietkowski is the Catholic Chaplain for Spiritual Formation and Resident Minister to Off-Campus Students. In these roles, she directs Catholic weekend retreats, prayer in daily life retreats, evenings of prayer and reflection, and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). She also accompanies students through pastoral support and spiritual direction. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s in English from Georgetown (1992), a Master’s in Religious Studies from Georgetown (1998), and a Master’s in Pastoral Studies from the Washington Theological Union (2007) specializing in Ignatian spirituality. She has worked at Georgetown for over 20 years – first in the Office Alumni Relations, then for the Villa Le Balze, and now for Campus Ministry in her 14th year as a Chaplain. Michelle loves talking with students about their classes, internships, friendships and spiritual journeys. She also treasures baking for them! Outside of work, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, running, and traveling.
Deb Silver is the Associate Director of Jewish Life. In this role, she oversees the depth, breadth, and success of Jewish Life programs and coaches students to create meaningful connections across campus. Deb previously served as the campus director at the College of Charleston Hillel in South Carolina where she also worked with Jewish cadets and students from the Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel. In Charleston, she created and strengthened relationships with campus and community partners and introduced new student engagement and leadership opportunities. Deb’s love of community building and appreciation for the many ways individuals connect with spirituality blossomed at Capital Camps, a Jewish overnight camp where she was a camper, summer staff member, and later a year-round team member. She earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Salisbury University. A DMV area native, Deb loves spending time with family and friends and trying new restaurants. You can also find her taking tap dancing classes and checking out the latest book releases at the library in her free time.
Rev. Dr. Shazetta Thompson-Hill “Dr. Z” is the Program Director for Residential Ministry, she also serves as the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Dr. Thompson-Hill is an ordained elder in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. She has worked in instructional and administrative capacities in educational organizations and institutions in Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and New York. Dr. Thompson-Hill has a BA in Mass Communication from Lane College. She earned a Master of Social Work and a Master of Education in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago, as well as a Master of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology. Dr. Z’s career focus and goal is the development and cultivation of environments where faith, education, and society can effectively coexist to address the needs of higher education communities. She is married to Rev. Jeremiah Hill, Esq. and has two sons, Isaac and Alex. Dr. Thompson-Hill is a Residential Minister Village A and enjoys photography, minimalism, and travel.
Rev. TauVaughn Toney, Protestant Christian Chaplain, comes to Georgetown University with a wealth of ministry experience in the Church and academe. Previously, he served as the Minister to Youth and Young Adults and Digital Media Specialist at Trinity Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, and a campus minister at Hallelujah Church at Princeton University. earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Howard University and a Master of Divinity and Certificate in Black Church Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the American Baptist Churches USA and the National Baptist Convention.
Madeline Vitek Memenza is the Associate Director for Campus Ministry. In this role, she works closely with our Residential Ministry and ESCAPE First-Year Retreat programs, the Division of Student Affairs, and advises our religious student organizations. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Madeline studied Political Science and Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University (another Jesuit institution), before heading to Ohio to earn an M.S. in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Miami University. At Georgetown University since 2010, Madeline has worked in Student Affairs and Campus Ministry and enjoys connecting around the following things: coffee, Catholic Social Teaching, Seattle, belonging at Georgetown, race and racial justice, and LGBTQ faith journeys. She is most excited to talk to students who are loving college so far, who are struggling with some aspects of being at Georgetown, and everyone in between.
Dr. Russell Weismann is the Director of Music for the Office of Campus Ministry. In this role, he oversees Georgetown’s exciting and diverse Music Ministry and serves as a musical liaison for additional events that take place in our campus chapels. A native of Pittsburgh, Russell has a few degrees in music (Doctor of Musical Arts, George Mason University; Master of Music, Yale University; Bachelor of Music, Duquesne University) and specializes in playing the organ. At Georgetown from 2007-2011 and again beginning in 2019, Russell enjoys meeting students who are passionate about the intersection of faith and music and are interested in expanding their musical knowledge and skill. When he’s not on campus, Russ is often seen walking the streets of Georgetown, daydreaming of one day living in Germany. He’s addicted to coffee, struggles with his culinary skills, and enjoys playing golf, traveling, and skiing.
Dr. Jim Wickman is the Director of Catholic Life for Campus Ministry. In this role, he works with the Catholic staff and students to animate Catholic programming, liturgical life, and spiritual activities. Having grown up in Chicago, Jim went to St. Louis University to study music as an undergrad, and subsequently earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in theology. He is a proud member of the class of 2020 at Georgetown, with an Executive Master’s in Leadership from the MSB. He spent many years working in parishes and taught at CUA before coming to Georgetown 10 years ago. Dr. Wickman is excited to connect with students around belonging and purpose, identity and meaning, spiritual growth, and going for coffee. He loves to travel, garden, cook, and really enjoys spending time taking students to lunch at the Tombs.